I self-harm because my new manager stresses me out

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female company employee in my 30s. In April, a new manager was transferred to my department. I can’t get along well with the person, and I have started to harm myself because of the stress.

The new manager has changed how we process paperwork and strongly demands us to follow the new way. The new method is not necessarily wrong, but the new manager doesn’t accept the way we used to do things and just orders us around.

That makes me feel like I’m being told that everything I did is wrong, and causes me stress. I just don’t get along with the person.

I’m not being harassed, so it may not seem like a big problem. However, this situation is stressing me out. I now hurt myself by scratching my arms until they bleed. I’ve never done anything like this since I started working.

I’m ashamed, as I feel like I’m being an impatient child. I don’t want to be transferred in the middle of the fiscal year, and I want to keep my job.

I want to know how I should deal with the manager to reduce my stress.

N, Chiba Prefecture

Dear Ms. N:

As a person who is sensitive to others, this kind of bluntness must put a lot of pressure on you.

If your manager gives a reasonable instruction, you have to carry out the request. Such demands are not personal, nor are they rejecting you, but merely a work direction.

However, you may be taking what others say more seriously than you need to. This attitude can help you build strong relationships with others, but could also cause unnecessary hurt and stress.

Let’s try to overcome the problem by changing the way you think. From tomorrow, consider whatever your boss says simply as instructions and follow them. It’s important to make sure the manager is not insulting you or giving you unfair criticism of your past performance.

It will be good for you to try to become bold enough to not care about others speaking to you bluntly, while at the same time telling yourself not to take what they say so seriously.

Tomomi Fujiwara, writer